By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
It came, it sprawled, it ate Miami for five days. And this is what it burped up.
Here are the weirdest things we encountered during Art Basel, America's biggest contemporary art show. Surely, this was only an itty-bitty fraction of the crazy.
• Artist David Colman dressed as a priest/Father Christmas in his two-day performance piece Santa Confessional. He invited visitors into a confessional booth in Collins Park to divulge their darkest sins while Santa's helpers in green elf/choirboy outfits handed out money. Some people sat down only to angrily harangue Santa. Others wept.
• Witnesses buzzed about seeing Jeffrey Deitch, an art dealer and the former director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, bump into Diddy at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Wednesday and say, "'Hi, Kanye." Diddy reportedly laughed it off.
• Kate Gilmore arranged six men and six women — all topless, with long, dark, straight hair, and all in jeans and work boots — atop pedestals lining Collins Park's main pathway. As onlookers walked by, the look-alikes slowly used sledgehammers to pound metal boxes to pieces. Was it a critique of America's hyper-sexualized consumer society? A violent interruption of art-world decorum? An homage to Miami local Iggy Pop? Who knows.
• Art-world darling Tracey Emin, famous for creating sayings such as "My Cunt Is Wet With Fear" in neon light, got photobombed by our music editor.
• Pretty much everything at Art Miami/Context — the baby monkey/alien fetus called Foundling; the oversize Fleur de Peau ("flower of skin") made of wax strips; the statue of a naked lady by Shen Shaomin — was made of human hair. Even the statue's ladybits. Ew. Shut it down, game over, we're out.